Feb 28 Toronto's main stock index looked set to
open higher on Thursday, helped by stronger-than-forecast
results from Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank
and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
* Royal Bank of Canada reported a stronger-than-expected 12
percent rise in quarterly profit on the back of stronger loan
growth and capital markets income, prompting the bank to raise
its dividend by 5 percent.
* Toronto-Dominion Bank reported a 21 percent rise in
quarterly profit, driven by loan growth at its Canadian and U.S.
retail banks and allowing it to raise its dividend by 5 percent.
* Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce reported a 4 percent
drop in quarterly profit due largely to a C$148 million charge
for a legal settlement with bankrupt U.S. bank Lehman Brothers.
* Positions hardened on Wednesday between U.S. President
Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders over the
budget crisis even as they arranged to hold last-ditch talks to
prevent harsh automatic spending cuts beginning this week.
* Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc, the
largest publicly traded drug maker in Canada, reported a
fourth-quarter loss, largely due to costs related to its $2.6
billion acquisition of Medicis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
* Bankers in Europe face a cap on bonuses as early as next
year, following agreement in Brussels to introduce what would be
the world's strictest pay curbs, in a move politicians hope will
address public anger at financial-sector greed.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.15 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up
around 0.07 percent to 0.17 percent
* European shares, were up
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 293.4308;
rose 0.02 percent
* Gold futures : $1,588.6; fell 0.41 percent
* US crude : $92.74; fell 0.02 percent
* Brent crude : $112.39; rose 0.46 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,864.5; fell 0.07 percent
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Catamaran Corp : The pharmacy benefit manager
reported a 59 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit, helped by
the acquisition of HealthTran.
* Nexen Inc : Chinese oil company CNOOC Ltd is
giving the leader of the Canadian unit freedom to get operations
running smoothly after an exhaustive seven-month acquisition
process, CNOOC's CEO said on Wednesday.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian
companies reported by Reuters.
* First National Financial Corp : National Bank
Financial raises target price to C$19 from C$18, says the
company remains well-positioned to mute the impact of weakening
housing markets and dividend is well supported.
* IBI Group Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises to buy
from hold, target price to C$8.50 from C$7, citing the company's
potential return and 9 percent dividend yield.
* Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc
: CIBC cuts target price to C$39 from C$41 to reflect
the dilution of the company's earnings per share after it
announced the issuance of fresh equity.
* Trican Well Service Ltd : Canaccord Genuity raises
target price to C$12.50 from C$10.50 on valuation, says
expectations margins will return to normalized levels,
cost-optimisation benefits and better activity levels.
* Twin Butte Energy Ltd : CIBC cuts price target to
C$2.65 from C$2.75 on valuation after the company provided an
updated reserve estimate.
ON THE CALENDAR
* Major Canadian economic data includes current account
* Major U.S. events and data includes revised GDP data and